Euroclear Bank Secures Russia’s Approval to Service OFZs

Euroclear Bank has been granted access to Russia’s central securities depository (CSD) by Russia’s Federal Financial Markets Service (FFMS) to offer post-trade services for Russian coupon-bearing Federal Loan Bonds (OFZs), one of the most actively traded classes of Russian government bonds.

Euroclear will also be able to offer services for other Russian government and municipal bonds, corporate bonds and securities issued by foreign entities. The bank said that the development ends months of speculation as to whether OFZs would become ‘Euroclearable’.

The availability of Euroclear’s services for OFZs and other securities is dependent upon Russian public authority approval of National Settlement Depository (NSD) as Russia’s official central securities depository, and related regulatory procedures.  Plans for Euroclear Bank’s OFZ and other Russian fixed-income securities services include cross-border transaction processing, asset servicing and collateral management.

“The bilateral NSD/Euroclear Bank link aims to provide the highest level of asset protection for clients using the service,” said Frederic Hannequart, chairman of Euroclear. “OFZ and other Russian fixed-income trades will be able to settle with Euroclear Bank; settlement risk should decline as settlement finality will be based solely on the NSD’s records.

Working directly with NSD is the best way forward to achieve the levels of efficiency, effectiveness and operational risk control that our clients expect.  We welcome the decision taken by the FFMS to grant Euroclear access to NSD.”

“Client abilities to conduct cross-border transactions in accounts opened with our organisations means increased transparency and, as a consequence, improved attractiveness of the Russian market for global investors,” added Eddie Astanin, the NSD’s chief executive officer (CEO). “We expect this step will have a positive impact on exchange activities of Russian issuers, where they will reach a greater pool of national and foreign investors.”

Upon launch of the link with NSD, Euroclear will have links with CSDs in 45 major countries, with the Russian rouble already one of 54 settlement currencies in Euroclear Bank.

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